Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, has said that Turkey will send soldiers across the border into Syria to protect refugees if they are attacked by Syrian forces, according to Hürriyet Daily News. His comments came amid an intensifying assault by government forces against the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, some 50 kilometres from the Turkish border. Davutoglu said that 500 Syrian officers had fled to Turkey, including 26 generals and 47 colonels. Syria's rebels have taken control of a crucial border post with Turkey, which would allow them to re-supply their fighters inside Aleppo, writes L'Orient-Le Jour from neighbouring Lebanon. The New York Times reports from a refugee camp in Turkey that houses some 12,000 Syrians. Syria's chargé d'affaires in London has defected, writes the Wall Street Journal, the latest in a series of diplomatic defections.
President Traian Basescu has avoided impeachment after final results confirmed preliminary figures showing that turnout in Sunday's referendum was below the 50% threshold required to make the vote valid. La Libre Belgique is among the papers with reports. “I despise Basescu”: that is the headline that Adevarul gives to an interview with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the instigator of the referendum. Basescu's political struggle raises questions over whether Romania was admitted too early to the EU, a commentator in the Financial Times writes.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that France and Italy are pushing for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone's rescue fund, to have unlimited firepower. Whether the plan ever comes to fruition is debatable because Germany is still opposed. Most of the European Central Bank's governing council are also said to be in favour of the move. But the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, also does not support allowing the ECB to buy up government bonds as part of the process, saying that it would “fuel inflation, threaten the independence of the ECB and may violate EU treaties”.
Süddeutsche Zeitung has an analysis of what it describes as the “secret plan” being drawn up over the summer to “save the euro”. The paper says the threat that the crisis could topple Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, has spooked politicians and officials into taking more action than ever before and halting what the paper describes as the domino effect. It quotes an EU diplomat saying that “If Spain falls over then it is Italy's turn, and Italy we cannot save and that would be the end of the currency union”.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is on holiday. Financial Times Deutschland reports how the German chancellor it staying at her usual retreat in the South Tyrol. She will keep up-to-date with financial market news from the eurozone but she will not do anything out of the ordinary for fear of spreading alarm, the paper says.
Mario Monti, Italy's prime minister, has said that the “end of the tunnel” is in sight for Italy and the eurozone, according to La Stampa. Monti is today starting a trip to France, Finland and Spain for talks with political leaders.
The leaders of Greece's ruling parties have failed, yet again, to agree where €11.5 billion in budget cuts required by international creditors should be made, writes Kathimerini.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has a report on a poll of French public attitudes towards the eurozone crisis. Most want Greece to leave the eurozone and many believe the eurozone is doomed, but few want to return to the franc. A commentator in the UK's Times writes that Germany is reaching its Eurosceptic moment. The Franco-German project has hit a wall; Britain should stop gloating and take advantage, he argues.
Didier Reynders, Belgium's finance minister, has warned Rwanda that it may impose sanctions if Kigali does not halt support by rebels by the end of August. De Standaard has a report.
Sweden's economy, bolstered by solid exports and healthy consumer spending, is picking up considerable steam, as many of its European counterparts face the threat of further slowdowns, the Wall Street Journal writes. “In crisis, a rare Swede spot” is its headline.
The US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has arrived in Poland on the last stage of a three-country tour. Rzeczpospolita has a report on his reception by the former Polish president, Lech Walesa. Romney's tour has proved controversial, latterly for his comments in Israel, during which he said the Jewish state's economic success compared with its Palestinian neighbours was due to “cultural” differences and the “hand of providence”, and declared Jerusalem to be “the capital of Israel”. The UK's Guardian has a report. Under the headline “The senator from Caesarea”, a commentator in Israel's Ha'aretz writes that the lack of restraint with which Mitt Romney's visit to Jerusalem has been handled by the Israeli government is scandalous, perhaps unprecedented. “Deciphering the genome of Israel's prime minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] requires the investigator to meet certain prerequisites. Only someone who has lived in the United States, attended meetings with Netanyahu and spoken with him personally can fully understand who he's dealing with.” “If you liked George W. Bush, you'll love Mitt Romney”, argues a commentator in the Financial Times, writing that the implication is a promise to return to the Manichean world view in which nations are divided into friends and enemies. A commentator in the Guardian gives ten reasons why Romney's tour is in bad taste.
Slovakia's Týžden and the Kyiv Post report that Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian opposition leader, will today appear in court to face charges of tax evasion.
Le Monde reports that the French UMP party is denouncing the governing Socialists' budget, saying it unravels the reforms of the previous French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Slovenian daily Delo argues that labour-market reform is essential and that that government needs to earn the trust of social partners and the public for reforms.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has signed the ratification of an agreement with the United States that substantially eases visa restrictions for both countries' citizens. The New York Times has a report.
While many of Vladimir Putin's policies are under attack, most Russians share the divisive world view that he projects, writes a Russian commentator in the Financial Times.
The Council of Europe has concluded that Belgium does not fully recognise the rights of Travellers, Le Soir writes.
La Razon has a report on a Spanish success story: medical tourism.
Another plagiarism scandal has erupted, this time in Slovenia. Vecer predicts that the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) will move to protect its deputy Borut Ambrožic, thereby reaffirming Slovenia's long tradition of pitiful political integrity.
Le Figaro reports that French President François Hollande has called for France to make a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
Michel Morganella, a Swiss football player, has been sent home from the Olympics after a racist tweet, writes Der Bund from Berne.
Le Soir reports that Michelle Martin, the wife at the centre of a notorious Belgian paedophilia scandal, has been released from prison by a tribunal in Belgium.
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